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In memory of one white cockatoo


Of all the places you could be –

By the cold, stony river with its burnt-out banks,

Or a lonely hillside cursed by purple Paterson –

You’re here, on my verandah, alone.

Your hundred cousins chewing bark

Down by the dam.

It was just you and me. 

I thought you carried a red fruit

Till I saw it was your beak,

Half torn-off, your grey tongue hanging loose,

Your white chest feathers rusty with blood.

I gave you seed in a bowl,

You tried to scoop it sideways with your broken jaw,

Swallow it whole.

I watched you, watched over you, watched for you.

On the third day you weren’t there.

Down on the cool green grass of the golf course you sat, waiting for sunset,

Your hundred cousins already roosting

In the myrtle tree.

About butimbeautiful

Rose has two blogs,, and Enjoy!

8 responses »

  1. Great poem Rose, but encountering a that on my balcony would have broken my heart cause I’m a softy for wildlife and I’m always coming to the rescue of animals. CS

  2. awww, so sad and sweet!

  3. I know that at this point I sound like an echo, but how very sad, and the sadness is well conveyed by your writing.

  4. Shards Of DuBois

    I rescued a bird from the jaws of my cat one time, he had a broken wing, so I put him in a cat carrier to protect him from the cats, and an hour later he was dead. I often wonder, if he would’ve survived had I not put him in jail. To a bird, that was probably pure hell, no reason to go on living. Then again, my cat may have injured him inside, I’ll never know. very poignant, and your writing drew me in like I was sitting next to him on the grass.

    • I think birds can easily die from shock. But a warm dark quiet place is the best place for them if they’re hurt – I don’t think putting him in a carrier would have killed him. He probably had injuries you couldn’t see, plus, as I said, shock is a big factor. Anyway, thanks for reading – all living things have their own sweetness.


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